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Not a changeling.

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Apr
26th
2020

Dragons make everything better: part 39650 in an ongoing series · 6:57pm Apr 26th, 2020

Looking for something to do now that PonyFest 2 is done? Let's steal from this thread on Twitter, and add some dragons to our ponies!

Let's try this. Give me the opening line of a book, but add "and then the dragons arrived."

It can have such effects as turning a time-travel romance into a warfic:

"Clover was approaching Queen Platinum's throne to deliver his usual Sunday morning report when an ear-shattering boom split the air, and five tons of iron door shot past his shoulder. The thick stone wall just to the left of the throne exploded as the door hurtled through it. And then the dragons arrived."

Or reframing a changeling psychological drama into Game of Thrones:

Starlight Glimmer — sprawled casually two seats away — glanced toward Chrysalis and slowly raised an eyebrow. "You're going to kill your prisoners." Another disbelieving murmur swept through the audience. And then the dragons arrived.

For present-tense MLP fanfics, knock off the terminal d:

"Principal Celestia always has wings in her dreams. And then the dragons arrive."

I know we've got much better dragon-infested openings out there. Let's find 'em!

Comments ( 33 )

I just mentally inserted that after the first few lines in a couple of my stories. It seems that it just makes mine incredibly confusing more often than not.

Well, let's see...

There was once a mare who did not believe in fairytales. Then the dragons arrived.

Promising.

I live my life, one day at a time. A good portion of those days are uneventful, always falling in the same routine: I wake up, walk to work, work, walk home, then bum around until I go to bed. Then the dragons arrive.

Pleasantly surreal.

The pack stirs to life at dusk, and I awaken from dreams of fire. Then the dragons arrive.

I suppose that one's a bit redundant. Or just the tale of the world's least helpful seer.

The Carousel Boutique was perhaps the only store in Canterlot that had three states: Open, Closed, and Inspired. Then the dragons arrived.

Here, the dragons seem to herald a bold new marketing strategy.

You would think I had enough troubles, wouldn't you? I was finally free after thousands of years, released from my prison and ready to spread chaos and insanity across the earth, only to be stopped in less than a day by a mere handful of colorful, goody-goody, near-juvenile mares. Then the dragons arrived.

The troubles just keep piling on, don't they?

They watched, and they grew steadily more excited as they continued to stalk their prey. Then the dragons arrived.

There's always a bigger fish.

The man in black fled across the desert. and the gunslinger followed. Then the dragons arrived.

Now we're just getting weird.

Let's start with the classics:

Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there came an era when the ideals of friendship gave way to greed, selfishness, paranoia and a jealous reaping of dwindling space and natural resources. And then the dragons arrived.

Or how about:

I live my life, one day at a time. And then the dragons arrived.

Or maybe:

Amidst dim candlelight, a single unicorn sat with his head bent down, eyes shut. And then the dragons arrived.

Hmm.

Last week, it had been an ancient castle dating from before the founding of Equestria, with noble defenders within holding off a horde of griffins and minotaurs and diamond dogs. A few days ago, it had instead been a great mountain, with a fabulous prize said to lay at its top for any brave enough to scale it. And today, it was a fortress in the Southern Sea, set next to the vital trading port of Neigh Orleans that, rumor said, was about to come under attack by Barbarneigh pirates.

In fact it was none of those things, it was just a tall, easy-to-climb tree in the Whitetail Wood with branches that had grown in such a way as to create a kind of natural fort. To the ponies of Ponyville, it was known as the Castle Tree.

And then the dragons arrived.

Doesn't change too much, except that instead of a pirate story it's now probably an high fantasy adventure story. Can still work as just being all just being part of the foals' pick-up LARP game.

As with most things that had gone wrong in Chrysalis’ life recently, it had seemed like a good idea at the time. She’d seen the cave that she, Tirek, and Cozy Glow had been trying to reach for days in front of her and surged forward, eager to claim the Bewitching Bell and finally get this whole trip over with. Instead…

The dragons arrived

Amusingly the story still sets up this turn perfectly.

“I can feel so many ideas,” the dalek said. “So much darkness. Rose, give me orders. Order me to die.”

And then the dragons arrived.

Soldier isn't going to be making it to Equestria in this version.

And I feel an immense, irresistible urge to do this (and for the record I do actually like this story a lot so this isn't meant to be anything other than done in the spirit of this post)

Twilight smiled a stiff smile, looking at nothing and nopony in-particular. Shining kept his nose down, using food as an excuse not to make eye contact. Beside him, Cadence rubbed her neck with a hoof, twisting like she had a sore muscle. The Sparkle family ate without a word, and the only sound was the clink of cutlery.

And then the dragons arrived

One presumes that the dragons in this case is Spike wondering why he wasn't invited to Thanksgiving, and showing up with his girlfriend Smolder and her brother Garble. Or something. Which actually that might answer why he wasn't invited.

A few more, a bit more obscure:

Pinkie Pie’s eyes shot open. Her face was buried in her wet pillow, stained from her tears. She quivered as she very gently tried to lift herself up from the bed. She was afraid of seeing her bed soaked, covered in blood, evidence of a horrific deed she had committed… but her bed was dry, save for her tears. And then the dragons arrived.

A old school favorite:

Here’s the thing about pain. Pain hurts. Pain hurts a lot. And then the dragons arrived.

Even older:

“I can’t possibly disappoint the Canterlot elite by rejecting their invitations, now can I?” And then the dragons arrived.

This one is a bit... redundant:

The dragon leaned back in his chair, it creaked as he settled into the comforting embrace and he sighed with contentment. He lifted the wooden cup to his lips, blew on the hot liquid within and sipped it thoughtfully. “Celestia,” he said in a soft warm voice, as if that one word contained within it the whole wealth of a conversation. "How are you enjoying your tea?" And then the dragons arrived.

And finally, a great story by my good friend. But because both the story and the author, I think we need to change it up a bit:

A scream echoed off the walls off of an alley in the slums of Manehatten; as a young mare kicked and screamed, running into the alley as fast as her hooves could take her. Then the Winged Hussars arrived!

Oooh... So tempting.

The world was aflame, with screams of panic and wails for salvation. Then the dragons arrived.

It was the darkened hour. The final call to rally for the end of things. For the end of all things. Then the Dragons arrived.

There are stories told, of great wizards and noble knights. Of thundering chariots of steel that tore across the sky at blistering speeds, tearing at each other in furious conflict for supremacy of the skies. Then the Dragons Arrived.

In ages past, we were the victors, we were the unconquered people. We were kings. Then the Dragons Arrived.

Most of this is on the spot, I'll admit, but I've got stories brewing for the latter two and they're a hoot.

Dammit I'm going to be doing this all day.

Princess Luna sat in her bedchambers, pondering over her latest scheme. In front of her sat a large, dragon hide-bound book, one of the oldest magic tomes in the Canterlot Royal Library: the Arcanus E Draconus. Inside it were the foulest spells known to Equestria, forbidden magic long since outlawed by Celestia herself. It had taken all of Luna’s cunning just to retrieve the thing and even more to translate its long-forgotten tongue into a language she understood. And now, it was going to pay off.

And then the dragons arrived.

Looks like Luna will have to wait on her revenge scheme.

Sunset Shimmer, cheeks red, smile embarrassed, stood in a long hallway of Twilight’s castle, identical crystalline doors flanking her and a gushing light purple unicorn mare with a dark purple mane that had a light blue stripe through it standing in front of her.

And then the dragons arrived.

Well she has a lot more legitimate stuff to be mad about now.

“So, think you’re ready to tell them?”

Despite her light tone, Smolder’s simple question, was enough to send a shiver through Ocellus’ carapace. “I—I think so?”

The young dragon sighed, patting Ocellus’ head fondly. “This isn’t a test, you know. If you don’t want to—”

And then the dragons arrived.

Garble heard what Smolder and Ocellus got up to last night and he's PISSED.

Chrysalis collapsed on the couch and sighed. “Oh, you have no idea how good this feels. I was stuck in stone for so long and I was starting to get cramps in places you only feel when you’re a statue.”

And then the dragons arrived.

This might get in the way of Chrysalis' arc in this story.

Ground shivers and shakes /
and then the dragons arrived

hrm, that checks out.
need a new 5 syllable line, though.

So... like this?

"Well, that sure didn't work."

And then the dragons arrived.

--Sweetie Belle

The Running of Lyra (w. added dragons)

"Okay, Lyra, you can do this! Remember: balance, focus, speed and rhythm..."

The minty-green unicorn drew a deep breath, psyching herself up for the practice ahead of her. Then she reared up on her hind legs, her forelegs waving in the air as she sought to balance herself.

Then the dragons arrived.

Trouble Sleeping w. Dragons

Luna couldn't sleep. It was her first morning in Canterlot, and she was tired after all the excitement of the previous night – being shown her rooms, adjacent to Celestia's own personal quarters, and introduced to her personal guards, cooks, maids, valets, secretaries... there were so many ponies here! - but the sleep eluded her. Then the dragons arrived.

“Of course it isn’t safe,” Mica quipped, “it’s a mine. Accidents happen, Ami. They happen all the time.”

And then the dragons arrived.

Luna scanned the cityscape before her, noting surprisingly little damage. Canterlot looked unusually picturesque, considering how little time had passed since the changeling invasion. This was partly a virtue of the dim evening light masking minor imperfections with the veil of darkness, but even in the harsh light of day there wouldn’t have been much to see. Nothing drove construction quite like a desperate want to reestablish normalcy. The sooner a collapsed roof was fixed, the sooner the bakery operating beneath it could reopen. The sooner a broken window was replaced, the sooner the bedroom beyond it could be used. Most importantly, the sooner Canterlot looked like its old self, the sooner its residents could forget running for their lives from changeling drones.

And then the dragons arrived.

The cellar’s door creaked open and morning sunlight pierced through the musty air within. Apple Bloom stifled a sneeze as Applejack waved some dust away. “Sure smells down there.”

And then the dragons arrived.

(This one is practically cheating)

Rarity stole nervous glances at the silent, brutish guards escorting her through the empty throne room; they hadn’t said a word since loudly announcing their presence outside her private chambers. These were the gruff military ponies that carried Queen Nightmare’s flag across lands savage and disobedient, not the regular palace guards that bowed politely and wore silver armor polished to a mirror shine. She hadn’t seen a palace guard since the latest purge started. And then the dragons arrived.

You’re right, dragons do make everything better :pinkiehappy:

Okay, this sounds fun! Most of my works are so irregularly structured that it just doesn't work, but here is a handful that do...

Launching a calm moment of peace into high-octane action or a killer party.

Princess Celestia crunched the ice with a pestle. If any of the chunks were too large, it would only be herself to blame, and she was okay with that. She upturned the bowl, dumping the granules into the glass, and then added in the liquid. A smile was permitted as the slush rose just slightly over the brim, spilling down the frosted sides. And then the dragons arrived.

This one was almost made for it.

"Here, Pipsqueak!" Luna cried. "Another bandit!" And then the dragons arrived.

The letter was a warning, perhaps?

The letter found me, and there was nothing to avoid it. In the span of one hour I had informed my research partners, gathered my few belongings and Boulder, sent my reply by Pegasus courier, and boarded a train for the heartland. That I did all these at a walking pace would astound most... I always thought it went to show how little ponies thought of walking. And then the dragons arrived.

Given that it was an adventure anyway, this was programmed to receive.

The universe spun as Captain Prism Flash turned the wheel, a wide grin on her face. And then the dragons arrived.

A summoning, natch.

As the final chords dissipated into the snow, Twilight stomped her hooves. And then the dragons arrived.

Just another day at the office.

I haul myself out of bed in the glow before dawn, make breakfast of a few pieces of jammed toast — how that thing works I wish I knew, ‘electricity’ — and wake up my younger brother. He takes forever, but I get him up and eating before I need to leave. He has school. I give him a hug, he hugs me back, and I’m off to the weather station. And then the dragons arrive.

Don't shoot the messenger!

Celestia looked anxious, he thought. And then the dragons arrived.

Literally!

Pinkie Pie looked up from the depths of the oven to find Twilight at the kitchen door, and she smiled. "Heya, Twilight! What's up?"

And then the dragons arrived.

Like fog, clarion bells, or the post, but all scaly.

The afternoon winds in the peaks around Our Town are very reliable. Almost exactly two hours before sunset, on a particular ridge, the wind simply stops. And then the dragons arrive.

And, finally, with slight modification the the stock phrase, we have all the necessary backstory for the war in the Dark Times.

Ponies, Luna thought, were not made for fighting.

But then the dragons arrived.

The thing I'm currently working on would be...considerably confused by dragons, I feel. (It's heavily Lovecraftian in inspiration.)

Looking at a few of my other fics, many have openings it's nigh impossible to insert dragons in. Honey Pie works perfectly, though. :pinkiehappy:

I should have died. And then the dragons arrived.

Looks like it works with nonfiction, too... :pinkiehappy:

The L8148A,E,J Aquastat® Relays are immersion-type controllers for use with forced hydronic heating systems. The combination high limit and intermediate switching relay works with a low voltage (24V) thermostat to control burner and circulator circuits. A call for heat by the thermostat starts both the burner and the circulator. When boiler-water temperature exceeds the high-limit settings, the burner circuit is broken; the circulator continues to operate during the thermostat call for heat. And then the dragons arrive.

(Random manual I had a PDF of laying around after part of our heating system needed fixed back around the beginning of winter... With a "equivalent" part that replaced a whole list of different older models, because the old part was long discontinued. Seems sort of par for the course with anything on our old Homart Automatic 600 really. Reminds me, sometime after heating season is over I need to either clean out or replace the automatic bleeders in the lines, they're all crudded up from the water we get around here and they're not doing their job at all anymore...)

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The Earth condensed from a cloud of interstellar dust some 4.6 billion years ago. This point marked the beginning of an enormous eon of geological time called the Precambrian. A time traveller arriving on the Precambrian Earth could be forgiven for believing that he or she had alighted on an alien planet: low levels of oxygen in the air would make breathing impossible, and neither animals nor plants would be in evidence. Seen from space, none of the familiar continents of today existed, the shapes and arrangements of the landmasses being entirely different. And then the dragons arrived.

When trying it on my own stories, I generally find it works best with a couple of paragraphs, rather than just the first line.

Spike slid a hot cup of tea in front of Rainbow’s muzzle. “Thanks,” she said absently.

“No problem,” said Spike. He waddled around to where his miniature throne faced the map table, set a cup of his own down on a place mat and a comic book beside it, then back out to the kitchen again.

And then the dragons arrived.

“Anonymous? Really?”

I nod emphatically. “Really. It's, um, perfectly ordinary where I come from.” I squirm a little, struggling to get comfortable in the pony-shaped chair. “My father was Anonymous as well,” I volunteer.

The Mayor stares at me over her little glasses. “Was he now. What strange names you ‘humans’ have.” She returns to filling in my residence paperwork. And then the dragons arrived.

Vinyl Scratch rested her hand on the horizon. It felt rough to the touch, like terracotta. Looking through and beyond it, the landscape appeared to continue on in three dimensions, though much simpler than the real landscape on this side. Plants, dunes and even wildlife were repeated in regular patterns, as if the rolling hills around town were mass-produced.

She felt the warmth of the sun and a pleasant breeze. Glancing up at the sky, she wondered just how much of it was real. Where did reality end and illusion begin?

And then the dragons arrived.

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Don't forget to link the source, or at least name the story you're draconizing! :raritywink:

5250677
Sure is! It doesn't make it any less fun. :twilightsmile:

5250835
:rainbowlaugh:

5250783
Dang it, I want to read this version of Airing Thoughts now. It reads like some sort of discourse on fascinating local mythology.

5250631
I will reluctantly admit that winged Hussars might be as metal as dragons.

5250629
"Queen Chrysalis Reforms (Accidentally)" sounds like it's setting up an Embralis crackship and I am here for it.

5250622
I know that it's literally the very first one to get posted in comments, but that is perfect and I think Monochromatic preemptively wins the thread.

5250834
For some reason, it seems to work well with romances in general!

"You were far, far too tense today." Ember's hooves worked against her client's back as she spoke, shiny charcoal chitin slicked with massage oil contrasting rather dramatically with pearlescent white hide.

"Mmm. I know." Celestia Sol Invictus, ruler of Equestria and Alicorn of the Sun vaguely twitched a hoof, as if she meant to gesture but was far too content to bother. And then the dragons arrived.

5250861

"Queen Chrysalis Reforms (Accidentally)" sounds like it's setting up an Embralis crackship and I am here for it.

Pfffft-! Especially given the more common Thorax/Ember pairing. Now I'm imagining a bizarre love triangle.

Ember: "I love Thorax, but I love Chrysalis too!"
Thorax: "I love Ember, but I love Chrysalis too!"
Chrysalis: "I HATE BOTH OF YOU!"

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Well... it was one of your stories...

--Sweetie Belle

5250864
Heeee. Yes!

My dragon-obsessed teenage self is very pleased at all this, btw.

Hell, maybe one of these days I'll actually write book two of the grandiose dragon trilogy I started literally when I was twelve. Book one a little weird, but has been edited since and isn't half bad...

5250835 5250842

Sun-tzu said:
Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life and death, the Way (Tao) to survival or extinction. It must be thoroughly pondered and analyzed. Then the dragons arrive.

John Forbes Nash, Jr.—mathematical genius, inventor of a theory of rational behavior, visionary for the thinking machine—had been sitting with his visitor, also a mathematician, for nearly half an hour. It was late on a weekday afternoon in the spring of 1959, and, though it was only May, uncomfortably warm. Then the dragons arrived.

We all know that history has proceeded very differently for peoples from different parts of the globe. In the 13,000 years since the end of the last Ice Age, some parts of the world developed literate industrial societies with metal tools, other parts developed only nonliterate farming societies, and still others retained societies of hunter-gatherers with stone tools. Then the dragons arrived.

I'd argue it's more fun with nonfiction.

My lips glistened with a rather costly lipstick—my very own blood.

It trickled down my mouth, down my chin and a droplet fell on her shirt.

The noises around us faded from my mind. They became distant, so very distant, and all that mattered was her. Her, as she held me, and her, now stained with my life’s pulse liquefied. Her thin, weak arms of a scholar surrounded me, so different and distinct than those of the many men and women that had claimed my body before.

The curtains fell.

In the distance, I heard thunderous applause.

“The show must go on,” I told her with crimson-lips. “Mustn't it, darling?”

tbf, we still don't know the context for the opening, so it's possible that this is how that scene actually plays out.

I write now in this diary for the first time in many years, and I do so only in the hopes that it might lighten the burden on my spirit. I have no expectation that another soul shall ever read these words, and I have no desire to show them. What I will record here is, frankly, beyond the pale. It is unbelievable. It is… complicated.

Yet I swear on the honor of my house and name that every word of what I record is true. What afrighted me shall now sleep within the pages of this book, and hopefully leave nothing but closure. Much have I seen and felt, so much that it is hard sometimes to keep track of it all.

Where should I begin? Where is the best place? Where did it truly begin?

For Her, it began a very, very long time ago, and in a different land. But for myself, it began one night on the doorstep of summer, when a visitor came to our town...

Then the dragons arrived.

Sounds like something out of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which, now that I think about it, would be lovely to see done in Cynewulf's style.

“And you say they were looking at my flank?” Rarity asked. “Rainbow Dash and Applejack? At my flank?”

“Yes,” Twilight said. “Overtly.”

“Huh.”

There was a little pause.

“Well. Good for them!” Rarity said.

Then the dragons arrived.

This is a story about dragons staring at Rarity's hips. All good stories are.

You're not wrong. :moustache:

5250892

I'd argue it's more fun with nonfiction.

I had no idea how much I needed this today, thank you.



From four semi-random selections, one from each shelf in one of my many bookshelves... The fourth shelf took a few tries, because it is mostly war history (don't worry, it's just overflow from another bookshelf entirely) and I am inclined against making light of that kind of stuff. What these choices/samples say about me, I leave to the reader to conclude.

I am particularly tickled by the second one, because of just how truthful it actually became.

Shakespeare was not a genius. He was, without the distant shadow of a doubt, the most wonderful writer who ever breathed. But not a genius. No angels handed him his lines, no fairies proofread for him. Instead, he learnt techniques, he learnt tricks, and he learnt them well, and then the dragons arrived.

"Slowness", most people would agree, is T'ai Chi Ch'uan's most conspicuous if not its most defining feature. Ask anybody to describe T'ai Chi, even someone who has never had direct exposure to this discipline, and they are almost certain to use the word "slow" somehow in their description. In fact, slowness is so associated with T'ai Chi in most people's minds that it is widely presumed to be T'ai Chi's defining feature. The truth is that however much T'ai Chi observers might identify or equate T'ai Chi with moving slowly, its slowness is merely a means to an end. More correctly, T'ai Chi offers up a multiplicity of ends, as there are a range of potential benefits for those who engage themselves in its regular practice. And then the dragons arrive.

Anyone can tie knots. Learn just one or two and you will be glad you bought this book. Learn ten and it could make a difference to your life. The ability to tie a few basic bends and bindings, hitches, loops and lashings, is an invaluable skill. Knotting is a fundamental but fascinating process, being an art, craft, science and philosophy, all rolled into one. Then the dragons arrive.

Hoping to satisfy their curiosity about people and to remedy their own woes, millions turn to "psychology." They listen to talk-radio counseling, read articles on psychic powers, attend stop-smoking hypnosis seminars, and absorb self-help books on the meaning of dreams, the path to ecstatic love, and the roots of personal happiness.

Others, intrigued by the claims of psychological truth, wonder: Do mothers and infants bond in the first hours after birth? Should we trust childhood sexual abuse memories "recovered" in adulthood—and prosecute the alleged predators? Are first-born children more driven to achieve? Does handwriting offer clues to personality? Does psychology heal?

For these questioners, as for most people whose exposure to psychology comes from popular books, magazines, and TV, psychologists analyze personality, offer counseling, and dispense child-rearing advice.

Do they? Yes, and much more. And then the dragons arrive.

This is the Discworld, which travels through space on the back of four elephans which themselves stand on the shell of Great A'Tuin, the sky turtle.

Once upon a time such a universe was considered unusual and, possibly, impossible. And then the dragons arrived.

This one actually fits.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. And then the dragons arrive.

That's no way to refer to a young lady.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and then the dragons arrived.

Okay, that sounds like a pretty bad time to me.

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hold, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

And then the dragons arrived.

A slight inversion of the story.

5251102

A slight inversion of the story.

I’m imagining Smaug as a wyrmling dragon sleeping away on his piles of gold when all of a sudden a clan of Dwarves arrived and kicked him out while keeping all his stuff. Smaug spent years as an exile from his own cave as a result while the Dwarves built it into a fortress. Finally, one day, Smaug was approached by the Necromancer, who offered to help with spirits in his employ and also by recruiting some friendly Wargs and Goblins that he knew.

But he also said that they’ll need a Burglar to sneak in to the dwarvish clan and scout ahead and also just generally make way for him. A Goblin or Warg would stand out too much, and Dwarves have a keen eye for spirits. But Hobbits have a talent for going unnoticed...

Heck this actually just broadly sounds like an interesting idea for a story to begin with. The standard fantasy adventure bit told from the perspective of monsters.

5251102

Just gonna leave this here...

The Restaurant at the End of the World, by D.Adams

The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Then the dragons arrived.

And this...

Gettysburg Address, by A. Lincoln

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Then the dragons arrived.

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Heck this actually just broadly sounds like an interesting idea for a story to begin with. The standard fantasy adventure bit told from the perspective of monsters.

(off topic)
I'm currently enjoying a fantasy series that does the monsters' perspective really well: Orconomics and its sequel Son of a Liche. It tackles head on the human-centric prejudice inherent in a lot of the fantasy genre (if you can get past the puns). Both available on Audible.

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I'm more amused by the third, mostly because of a Damaged mind. (This is a family blog, so I'm not going to talk about all the layers to that particular joke)

Is it gauche to cover one's own "greatest hits?" :rainbowwild:

For the third day in a row, Flash Sentry stopped short as he turned to step away from the cafeteria counter. Then the dragons arrived.

By appearances, it was a perfectly ordinary Tuesday in Equestria. The birds were chirping, the bees were buzzing from flower to flower, and a small burst of light heralded the arrival of a snakelike spirit of Chaos outside the garden of a tiny cottage on the outskirts of the pastoral village of Ponyville. Then the dragons arrived.

Spike sighed, feeling the hooves on his back push him deeper into the massage bed. And then the dragons arrived.

Princess Celestia rested her hooves on the railing of her high balcony, and watched as shadows from the setting sun rushed to overtake Canterlot. Then the dragons arrived.

Petunia Paleo was a small blue filly who lived with her parents in a medium-sized house at the end of a side street in Ponyville. Then the dragons arrived.

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